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African-American Therapist Shot By Police While Caring For Autistic Patient [Watch]

A behavioral therapist was shot by police even though he had done nothing wrong. His crime, apparently, was being black.

Credit: 7 News

Credit: 7 News

On Thursday, North Miami Police received a call from a concerned citizen about an individual who was apparently suicidal and had a gun. When cops showed up at the scene, however, they found two men – one of color, one caucasian – and a toy truck.

The African American man is Charles Kinsey, who is a behavioral therapist at a group home in Miami. The unnamed white male is an autistic patient of his who had run away from the facility. When the police arrived and pointed guns at the pair, Kinsey immediately laid down on the ground and put his hands up as if in surrender. The entire time, he tried to explain to the officers that weapons were not necessary, as his patient was simply playing with a toy truck.

Unfortunately, his efforts still resulted in him getting shot. In the video below, Kinsey describes his disbelief at being wounded despite the fact that he had done nothing wrong.

“I still get my hands in the air,” Kinsey said in an interview with 7News, “and I said, ‘I just got shot.’ I’m standing there like, ‘Sir, why did you shoot me?’ and his words to me was, ‘I don’t know.’”

By Thursday evening, Kinsey was in well enough condition to be discharged from the hospital. Plenty of people were upset by the incident, however, which is why protestors gathered outside and inside of the North Miami Police Headquarters lobby with signs and questions about how an unarmed man with his hands up could be shot by police.

Credit: 7 News

Credit: 7 News

According to the Miami-Dade Police Union, Kinsey did everything right. It is relayed that the 30-year-old Hispanic officer who shot him was likely aiming for the patient out of fear that he had a gun and was planning to hurt the behavioral therapist.

Kinsey’s lawyer, Hilton Napoleon, believes the excuse falls short. He says,

“There’s no justification for shooting an unarmed person who’s talking to you and telling you that they don’t have a gun, and that they’re a mental health counselor.”

Until the situation is resolved, the officer who shot Kinsey is on paid leave.

At present, the North Miami City leaders are talking to Kinsey about a cash settlement to wrap up the ordeal quietly and quickly. The last thing officials – and the public – wants is anger about the situation to escalate and result in more police officer casualties.

“They want to resolve it relatively fast in a matter of good faith, to let the community know that they take these things seriously,” said Napoleon.

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